Essential Update - 9th November 2023

Essential Update – Thursday 9th November 2023


In this update:


Christmas is looming – Time to get your head around how to pay Stat Days and Annual Leave again

The Christmas season brings more complex payroll scenarios. Here are a few things you need to know and remember:

1. Christmas Stat Days (and the same applies to New Years)

Christmas Day and Boxing Day are on Monday and Tuesday this year (so are the New Years stat days). This makes payroll a lot easier and, if your staff usually work a Monday and/or Tuesday, they will be entitled to a paid stat day. If they don’t usually work these days, they will not be paid for them. Here are some scenarios and how your staff will need to be paid:

  • If your employee usually works Monday-Friday, but are not required to work, they will be entitled to a paid day off for Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day and 2nd If staff work on these days, they must be paid time and a half as a minimum and be entitled to a full paid day in lieu.
  • If your employee does not usually work a Monday or a Tuesday, they will not be entitled to any payment for not working these stat days.
  • If your employee does not usually work a Monday or a Tuesday but do, for whatever reason, work on these stat days, they must be paid time and a half as a minimum. They are not, however, entitled to a day in lieu.

2. What if your employee works variable hours – what do they get paid?

There are rules for this – consider these:

  • If the day was not a stat day and if you had not closed down, would it have been a working day for the employee? If so they are entitled to payment.
  • If you know they are entitled to payment, how many hours – again, if you know what they would otherwise have been paid (e.g. based on standard, if irregular, rosters) then that is what you use – but if you cannot work this out then you use the average paid on this day of the week in the last 4 weeks.

Note that the courts have been very clear – just because you never open on a stat day, or because your services are never needed on a stat day, does not mean they are not entitled to pay.

3. And what if an employee works over night?

In this case you need to check your agreements and see how a day has been defined or how stat days are identified for payment.  If it is silent then consider your practice in the past.  Else assume that you have to pay time and a half for hours worked on any part of a stat day, plus the day in lieu (even if they only worked one hour on the stat day).

4. Close Down and Annual Leave Anniversary Dates (per the Holidays Act)

Where there is a Company enforced close-down period you must give two full weeks’ notice of the actual dates you will be closed.  For that period employees will have to be on Annual Leave (paid or unpaid):

  • If they have been working for less than 12 months they should be paid out 8% of their gross earnings to the date of closedown (minus whatever you have paid them for leave taken in advance) in lieu of holiday pay. Their Annual Leave anniversary date will then become the date of the first day of close-down and their 12 months until Annual Leave entitlement will start again.
  • Other staff will be paid for leave taken out of their available entitlements. Note that where you have staff who have been employed for more than a year, but you have not previously amended their entitlement date, you should now change it to a date approximating the date of closedown. This may mean that you have not complied with the Holidays Act.  If you have concerns about this, it is not urgent, but you should contact us in the New Year.

Jess on Leave from 20th November till the New Year

The time has come!!!

She’s been planning it all year and thoroughly deserves it - Jess will be taking her family overseas to see their family in the UK and Europe.  From November 20th till January 8th it will just be me!

I know it won’t be a problem to keep supporting you – but I may just be a little slower responding!

Please note that we also have another public holiday (Canterbury Anniversary Day) before Jess goes away, so her last day is technically 16th November. So, if there is anything that you need for her next week, please get in touch ASAP.

Essential HR’s Christmas Closedown – A heads up

We know it is early, but please mark in your diaries that Essential HR will be closed from midday on Friday 22nd December and will reopen on Monday 8th January 2023.

While Mike will be on call for urgent matters during the Christmas break, he will be enjoying a break and some family time so will not be as readily available during this time. We strongly encourage you to ensure that your needs are dealt with beforehand (preferably by Friday 8th December to allow some contingency time), or a plan is made for us to be in contact with you during our first week back.


Essential HR are here to help.  For ongoing help call us on – 03 3650532 (voice messages are automatically relayed to Mike), or you can contact Mike directly on 027 2808546 or And if you need to conference call, we are all set up with Zoom.

I’m happy for you to pass this Update on to others.

Need help managing staff?

Mike has a wealth of experience advising on every aspect of the employer-employee relationship. I can give you per-phone guidance or work along side you to make things happen.

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